FIAT Brand and Hoonigan Search for Female Racer to Pilot Fiat 124 Spider Abarth Rally Car

  • FIAT brand and Hoonigan come together to support women in auto racing and to find the next great female racer
  • After competitions at the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in Phoenix, Arizona, the field narrowed to six finalists
  • Winner to be named on Friday, July 14
  • Follow the competition as it rolls out on FIAT and Hoonigan social channels
July 12, 2017 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - The FIAT Brand North America is taking the Abarth name back to its racing roots with the creation of a 124 Spider Abarth rally car. Recognizing the breadth of female driving talent in the racing community, FIAT is working with Hoonigan, a motorsport-lifestyle brand, to find the next great female driver to race the 124 Spider Abarth rally car. This 400-horsepower specially made coupe roadster calls back to the origin of the brand with racing icon Karl Abarth.
 
From over 150 entries, six accomplished female drivers – Michelle Abbate (Las Vegas, Nevada), Collete Davis (San Francisco, California), Sally McNulty (Phoenix, Arizona), Sara Price (Canyon Lake, California), Rathyna Gomer (Colton, California) and Suzanne Valdivia (Modesto, California) – were chosen to compete for the title of “Next Female Hoonigan” and the opportunity to race the 124 Spider Abarth rally car. The road trip and competitions at Bondurant can be viewed here.
 
The winner will be named on Friday, July 14 following additional competition, including the prestigious Mount Washington Hill Climb – a perfect venue given the hill climb heritage of the Abarth. 
 
Stay tuned to Hoonigan and FIAT social and digital channels to watch the rest of the competition unfold and to find out which driver will ultimately represent FIAT and be the next female Hoonigan.
 
Hoonigan athlete and Top Fuel drag racer Leah Pritchett helped kick start the search, hosting the program launch video. Phase one of the driver search, which launched April 18 and concluded May 10, called for applicants to make their case in a one-minute video demonstrating what makes them rad enough and fast enough to get behind the wheel of Fiat’s competition vehicle.
 
Contestants arrived at Hoonigan headquarters on May 24 and completed some fun, warm-up challenges before pairing off and road-tripping in production 124 Spider Abarth vehicles to the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in Phoenix, Arizona. At Bondurant, the racers competed and proved their worth in 124 Spider Abarth production cars, aiming to earn the right to race in the rally car.
 
About Hoonigan Media Machine
Hoonigan Media Machine is the creative team behind the viral Ken Block Gymkhana film series. Hoonigan Media Machine is focused on content creation and is fully equipped to handle production on a wide range of video projects in the automotive community. Led by Hoonigan Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder Brian Scotto, the production team ideate and produce highly sharable, award-winning content from photos to short viral clips to long-form video for both top athletes and personalities and influential brands. For more information on Hoonigan Media Machine, please visit www.hoonigan.com and remember to Hoon Responsibly.
 
What does Hoonigan mean?
  1. It’s a portmanteau (Look it up, yo!): the combination of “hooligan” and “hoon,” the Australian term for screwing about in cars. 
  2. A person who operates a motor vehicle in an aggressive and unorthodox manner, consisting of, but not limited to, drifting, burnouts, donuts, as well as acts of automotive aeronautics. One who Hoons. 

About Bob Bondurant School of High Performance
The Bob Bondurant School of High Performance, which is located in Phoenix, Arizona, is the only purpose-built driver training facility for performance enthusiasts and is the largest driver training of its kind in North America. At the heart of the 60-acre facility is a 1.6-mile, 15-turn multi-configuration track that was designed by Bob Bondurant. The school maintains over 200 race-prepared vehicles, sedans, SUVs and open wheel cars. For more information, visit www.Bondurant.com or call (800) 842-7223.
 
About FIAT Brand
The FIAT brand stands for discovery through passionate self-expression. That philosophy is embodied by the iconic Fiat 500 or Cinquecento – a small car that lives big. Italian at heart and rooted in a rich heritage, the 500 is sold in more than 100 countries and is synonymous with modern, simple design blending form, function, technology and a pride of ownership that is genuine.
 
In North America, the Fiat 500 was introduced in March 2011 and was soon followed by the Fiat 500c (Cabrio), the high-performance Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio, the fully electric Fiat 500e, the five-passenger Fiat 500L and the all-wheel-drive 500X crossover. The FIAT brand continues to expand with the introduction of the Fiat 124 Spider, a revival of the iconic roadster that combines Italian style, performance and engaging driving dynamics. 

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